Differences Between Translation and Interpretation

By | July 4, 2011

Often there is a misconception that translation and interpretation are one and the same with some little changes. But they are two different activities working with same ideology. The main thing in both translation and interpretation is to translate the source language in to target language. But the work they are doing varies which depends upon the communication. The main difference is the way of communicating things, one does it through documentation and the other does it through a free speech.

Lets have a deeper look at the differences:

Translation: Translation involves changing or translating the source text in to the targeted text with the proper usage of grammar, expressions, nativity, idioms etc., This kind of work is more useful in the fields of medicine, business, law and finance. The invent of Internet and companies offering various services through websites, made the intervention of translation. Translations include some written documents, books, instruction manuals, subtitles for films, etc. Every thing in translation should be in written form. Translators need strong grip over both the languages more particularly on the targeted language. This is why more translators translate in to their native language.

Interpreting: Interpreting is more about spoken words. Here also they do the same translation work, but the interpreters don’t have that much of time like the translators. They need to listen to the source text directly from the speaker or through some source, then they have to tell the same orally in the target language. These people involve in the projects, which require live translations like business meetings, medical appointments and legal proceedings. They have to do it instantly and accurately. They need to have good listening skills and good command over the language in to which they need to translate. A good interpreter should have clarity of speech and have good memory power too.

It is often said that a translator needs to be 99% accurate whereas the interpreter needs to be 70% accurate. However, during these days an interpreter seems to be on more demand than a translator, even though they both equally act as mediators between the speaker and the listener.